The Romance of the Past

My mom and dad are going to Ireland for their anniversary. I’m so excited for them! It’s always been my mom’s dream to visit Ireland. Her mom’s father left Ireland to come to America. He never wanted to go back. My grandmother never wanted to visit Ireland. In fact, when she found out my mom was going on this trip, she asked, “Why?”

[Cave Hill. Belfast. County Antrim, Ireland] (LOC)
[Cave Hill. Belfast. County Antrim, Ireland] (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)
My grandmother moved in with my parents over a year ago; so when I went home in June, I sat down beside her and asked her to tell me what it was like when she was growing up. Her childhood was influenced by the Great Depression. She found ways to save money and get by, like learning to sew stockings with the same colored thread so that no one could tell where the tear had been.

My grandmother’s recollections have been softened over the years. I think that’s why my mom and I have romanticized the prospect of Mom’s return to the place her grandfather gave up. “Just to see it,” she says. I hope she won’t be disappointed. I don’t think she will. She’s a down-to-earth type, really.

When I was a teen, I sent this poem to my grandmother because I’ve always enjoyed curling up beside her and requesting:

Tell me a story, Grandma, dear
About your youthful past;
About the wisdom you have learned
From beginning to last.

Tell me a story, Grandma, dear;
That happened years before;
When one man left his heritage
In hopes of something more.

Tell me a story, Grandma, dear;
Please let it all be true;
So I can tell my own young ones
My stories about you.

P.S. It is my grandma’s fervent prayer that my mom and dad won’t get killed for not being Catholic.

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Author: Rilla Z

I'm a scribbler. I write about this world, the worlds inside my head, and the world to come.

6 thoughts on “The Romance of the Past”

  1. If they’re going to rent a car, tell them to be very, very, very, vigilant on the roads. My brother has made two trips, and some type of accident is almost certainly going to happen!

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  2. Rilla: I shared this on Twitter, because it’s such a sweet story. Grandparents are the best, aren’t they? I lived with my grandparents for a bit growing up, and no one in the world would ever replace them. I’m quite certain your parents will bring back something in their hearts that cannot be replaced or taken away. Wish them a Happy Anniversary from me.
    Veronica

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  3. Rilla, I’m glad your grandfather came to this country for SO many reasons. You are one of them. I hope your Mom and Dad have a safe and unforgettable time in the country of your grandfather’s birth.

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